Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Gossip

The Church Gossip
Sarah, the church gossip and self-appointed supervisor of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several residents were unappreciative of her activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.

She made a mistake, however, in accusing new-member George after she saw his pickup truck parked all afternoon in front of the town's only bar. Said Sarah, "Everyone seeing it there would just know that he was an alcoholic!"

George, a taciturn sort, stared at her for a moment before simply walking away, saying nothing.

Later that evening, George parked his pickup in front of Sarah's house.

And proceeded to leave it there all night.

"Don't gossip.  Don't falsely accuse your neighbor of some crime, for I am Jehovah."  Leviticus 19:16

"A gossip goes around spreading rumors, while a trustworthy man tries to quiet them."  Proverbs 10:13

"Don't let me hear of your suffering for murdering or stealing or making trouble or being a busybody and prying into other people's affairs.  But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian."  1 Peter 5:15 &16a

Jokes from ArcaMax.  Verses from The Living Bible.

 

As for the devotions, I'm moving on to the 7th Devotion on Marriage.  Here we enter into the New Testament.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Humor is Good for the Soul

Noah and His Ark Today
If Noah had lived in the United States today the story may have gone something like this:

And the Lord spoke to Noah and said, "In one year, I am going to make it rain and cover the whole earth with water until all flesh is destroyed. But I want you to save the righteous people and two of every kind of living thing on earth. Therefore, I am commanding you to build an Ark." In a flash of lightning, God delivered the specifications for an Ark. In fear and trembling, Noah took the plans and agreed to build the ark. "Remember," said the Lord, "you must complete the Ark and bring everything aboard in one year."

Exactly one year later, fierce storm clouds covered the earth and all the seas of the earth went into a tumult. The Lord saw that Noah was sitting in his front yard weeping. "Noah!" He shouted. "Where is the Ark?"

"Lord, please forgive me," cried Noah. "I did my best, but there were big problems.

First, I had to get a permit for construction, and your plans did not meet the building codes. I had to hire an engineering firm and redraw the plans. Then I got into a fight with OSHA over whether or not the Ark needed a sprinkler system and approved floatation devices. Then, my neighbor objected, claiming I was violating zoning ordinances by building the Ark in my front yard, so I had to get a variance from the city planning commission.

Then, I had problems getting enough wood for the Ark, because there was a ban on cutting trees to protect the Spotted Owl. I finally convinced the U.S. Forest Service that I really needed the wood to save the owls. However, the Fish and Wildlife Service won't let me take the 2 owls.

The carpenters formed a union and went on strike. I had to negotiate a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board before anyone would pick up a saw orhammer. Now, I have 16 carpenters on the Ark, but still no owls.

When I started rounding up the other animals, an animal rights group sued me. They objected to me taking only two of each kind aboard. This suit is pending.

Meanwhile, the EPA notified me that I could not complete the Ark without filing an environmental impact statement on your proposed flood. They didn't take very kindly to the idea that they had no jurisdiction over the conduct of the Creator of the Universe.

Then, the Army Corps of Engineers demanded a map of the proposed flood plain. I sent them a globe.

Right now, I am trying to resolve a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that I am practicing discrimination by not taking atheists aboard.

The IRS has seized my assets, claiming that I'm building the Ark in preparation to flee the country to avoid paying taxes. I just got a notice from the state that I owe them some kind of user tax and failed to register the Ark as a 'recreational water craft'.

And finally, the ACLU got the courts to issue an injunction against further construction of the Ark, saying that since God is flooding the earth, it's a religious event, and, therefore unconstitutional. I really don't think I can finish the Ark for another five or six years."

Noah waited. The sky began to clear, the sun began to shine, and the seas began to calm. A rainbow arched across the sky.

Noah looked up hopefully. "You mean you're not going to destroy the earth, Lord?"

"No," He said sadly. "I don't have to. The government already has."

I'm finally moving on to the 6th Devotion on Marriage.  Looks like I'm gonna have to homestead here a while. 

 

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hurricane Prayer

Where has the week gone??!  Been a busy one in some ways, slow and lazy in others.  Found a web site Monday, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank:  Preserving the Stories of Katrina, Rita and Wilma.  Was naturally intrigued.  Read, looked around and submitted my own Storm Stories to their achieve.  (If you weren't around Caneyhead last fall, you can read them all together and concise by clicking Storm Stories above.  To see all the wonderful comments, you'll have to read in my journal through the link on the side bar and the archives from Oct. 2005.)  While I was there I found a great aerial photo of our area, after Rita.  

     SilsbeeTexasDestroyedTrees_5b7fdee6.jpg 

Contributed by Kelly.  Object #1732, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: Preserving the Stories of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, 30 January 2006, <http://www.hurricanearchive.org/details.php?id=1732>

Those toothpicks are trees downed by Rita's winds.  Not tornadoes.  Notice how they all lay in one general direction.  The circular motion of the hurricane winds snapped them off 3-5 feet from the ground and laid them all down with their tops pointing southward.  Now you can finally see why my blood ran cold when I read the advisory that stated the huge percentage of trees that would fall.  We could often hear cracking and snapping through the wind, and the smell of pine was so strong you'd think Someone poured a tanker of Pine-Sol out.  (Click the link under the photo to go directly to it in a larger size.) 

All of this and hurrican season upon us again caused me to desire to post the beautiful prayer Trish forwarded to me right before Rita hit.  It did a lot to calm my heart, ease my mind and help me focus on God that night and not Rita.

O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control. The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, over step its conventional boundaries, invade our land and spread chaos and disaster. During this hurricane season, we turn to You, O loving Father. Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time. Father, all the elements of nature obey your command. Calm the storms and hurricanes that threaten us and turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Father God I am so very grateful that You are all knowing and all things have to submit to You. I pray Lord God for mercy for these in the hurricane areas. Father I pray that we as a nation of people will once again turn to You and say You are God!  Father I pray for good to come out of all this devastation. I pray for souls to be saved, I pray for spiritual health of this nation and the world. I pray we will lift Your name on high and put Jesus back on the throne instead of all our other gods we have tried to put on His throne.  May our people and our nation be healed and back under Your protection Father God. In Jesus name. I pray we completely surrender to You and spare ourselves from more destruction. Amen!

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. Jeremiah 29:12

And for any of you who are going along with me on the Devotions on Marriage, I've been hovering over #5 all week.  It's about priorities, staying off the soap box, expressing contentment rather than criticism.  Realigning those priorities, keeping my feet on the floor, and biting my tongue until it's pulp.  ;o)  I'm sure these are never issues for you, but just in case.......here's the link:   5th Devotion on Marriage

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Well, It's Father's Day

     Twocowpokesimage001.jpg

Here it is Father's Day.  The Daddy in this house is enjoying sleeping in late...very late...on a rainy, overcast day.  He and Bubba were up very late last night building a pen out of pipe for our stud horse, D-Boy, who has finally managed to tear up his board pen for the last time.

Pete as a Dad.  Over all he's a good Dad.  Like every parent he has his faults, flaws and shortcomings.  But for today, I'll dwell on what I see as his strengths. 

He loves to hold and cuddle his children when they are young.  Has no shame at all in hugging one, at any age.  They are encouraged from early on to follow him along on every step he makes around the yard, doing whatever project.  He makes them feel safe from all outside forces.  He'll save and squirrel away money for that wonderful surprise birthday or Christmas present.  Be it Bubba's first .22 or Hannah's fine new big girls bike.  He has no problem with them coming along on a job, or a weekend at the deer camp.  He'll watch all the Disney movies with them.  Occasionally toss around a Frisbee. 

He has been the driving force in molding our son into a man.  Bubba has the respect of everyone who has ever worked with him or seen him work.  And Bubba has respect and a heart tender for those older in life.  These are things from his father.

Bug is Pete's little country princess.  Denim and pearls.  Not long after we had her, I kidded him about beating up boys when she was older...he shook his head and said "No, I'll teach her how to beat them up." 

For me, some of my warmest, fuzziest feelings for my husband revolve around memories of him with the kids.  Even some of the times I find him sexiest, is when I see him taking time to explain or help or tickle or fix for our children.

He would do without for his children, die for his children, kill for his children.

Happy Father's Day, Pete!

Love,

Barbara 

For any who are following along with me:

4th Devotion on Marriage 

Friday, June 16, 2006

Short & Sweet

  by Donna @ This, That & Hockey

This seems appropriate today.....as my guys have been working on redoing our front porch this week. ( Yes, the very same one some of you may remember reading about before.)  There are no freezers on it.  No feed.  Only chairs and tables and cabinetry.  It runs the length of the front of the house.  Half of it has a wall half way up and screen to the top.  The other half is open.  They are putting in new screen and adding some great routed trim.  Pete is also putting posts and a rail half way up on the open side.  Very decorative.  Cemented a large BBQ pit a few feet off and to the side of the open part.  Very nice!  We fired it off and tried it out last night.  Uumm, Uumm, good. 

I proceeded on to the third devotion on marriage this morning.  If you are following along, you can find it here:

3rd Devotion on Marriage - Deuteronomy

Hope everyone in J-land and beyond has a wonderful weekend!

 

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Neat New Stuff

Hey, I am surprised and tickled to see we finally got a search tool on our journals!  I've been playing with it.  Entering terms I know I've used in my journal before.  Of course a lot of junk comes up with it.  But over all, I think it'll be a fun and handy thing to have.

My toes are a little sore from yesterday's devotion.  But, still, I am plodding on with the second devotion on marriage, today.  Feel free to join me:

Second Devotion on Marriage:  Exodus, Leviticus & Numbers
 
 

Monday, June 12, 2006

Refresher Course

  Don't know about you, but I need a refresher course!  I know I am getting stubborn, getting in the flesh, ignoring the lessons He has taught.  The lessons He taught me about marriage in particular. 

A little over a year ago, when I first started this journal I ran a series of Devotions on Marriage.  Well, I'm going back and re-reading them.  Opening the Word and looking inside again....for direction, purpose, correction and edification. 

These devotions are written with women in mind.  I invite you to join me.  I will post the link to each entry as I go through it.  Most every day.  Here's the link to today's, the first devotion, if you'd care to join me.

1st Devotion on Marriage:  Genesis 2:18-24 & 3:16

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Conversation at the Feedstore

                                                   (Graphic by Frooty.)

The other evening, after church, I had to run to the feedstore.  We needed bread, milk, sweet feed and rice bran.  As I walked up to the counter with my milk and bread, there was a man checking out with a 6-pack of beer, Josh the clerk and Walter.....the boy on feed loading duty.  

Walter said, "Hey, you're Pete's mama, aren't you?"  As I was opening my mouth to answer, Josh said, "No, she's Pete's wife" with a mischievous grin on his face.  Walter gave him a look like "no joke Sherlock!"  In keeping with their fun, I said, "Yes, actually I am both.....Pete's wife and Pete's mama."  At which point the man with the 6-pack's eyes got big and round and he sort of "humphed" to himself. 

So I said, You know actually neither one of them are named Pete.  It's just a nickname.  At which point Josh said, "You are kidding!  My daddy ain't really a Pete....it's just his nickname, too!!"  And he told me his daddy's real name, which had nothing to do with Pete or Peter.  But said he didn't know why. 

So, I said,  "Pete, my hubby is nicknamed Pete because his mother wanted to name him Peter after Peter Gunn the detective on TV at the time.  She thought he was so handsome.  But his father and his grandmother, put another name on the birth certificate.  Hazel didn't like it much.....so she called her boy Peter Gunn, which got changed and shortened along the way to Pete.  Bubba is nicknamed Pete, because when he was about 3 years old he pointed to his daddy and said 'Pete.  Big Pete.'  and he pointed to himself and said 'Pete.  I'm Little Pete.'  And it stuck."  Then I told them their real names.  They do have the same initials.  Andthe same middle name.  But even Big Pete didn't care much for his first name, so he chose my daddy's name for Lil' Pete's first name.

All of this is sometimes handy.  When someone calls our house, we immediately know if they know my husband personally or not by what name they ask for.  And sometimes it creates some absurdity.  Take one of Bubba's middle school yearbooks for example.  He had not cared much for how his first picture had turned out.  So the day they did make up pictures, he went in and had his made again.  When the year book was published, there on the same page were two pictures of Bubba!  One with his real name underneath, dressed in one shirt.  The other with Pete underneath, dressed in another shirt.  I told him, here's your ticket to getting away with murder........your mysterious identical twin!  Even now he receives mail from the armed forces, colleges, credit cards, etc. in both names.

As a humorous side note:  AOL Spell Check has no idea what to do with "Feedstore."

Sunday, June 4, 2006

LOVE

   So wonderful to be in church this morning, with each of my children on either side of me.  A beautiful, gorgeous Sunday here in SE Texas!  Wonderful how it lifts your heart so to see someone there who has been unable to attend for some time!  Many members out traveling on vacations, even Pastor C.W.  Brother Eric filled in at the pulpit and did a fine job reminding us of Love, as defined by the Bible.  As commanded by our Lord.  As our greatest aim.  As His greatest accomplishment.

I was so inspired and encouraged, that I am passing on to you, today, this paraphrase of mine of I Corinthians 13. 

Love bears pains and trails calmly and without complaint. It is disposed to be helpful and agreeable. Love is never suspicious, distrustful or apprehensive. Love is never begrudging of what another has. Love does not call attention to oneself, exaggerate or brag. Love is not arrogant or over-bearing. It does not feel superior to others. Love is not blatantly proud. Love is never excessively or exclusively concerned with oneself without regard to others. Love is never offensive, discourteous, vulgar or abrupt. Love does not insist upon or require it's own way. Love is not quickly annoyed or angered. Love does not take offense on slight provocation. Love has no deep seated resentment, nor abides ill will. Love will hardly pay attention, nor comment, when it's rights are violated or it is treated unfairly. Love is never glad about another's rights being violated or them being treated unfairly. It is not glad when hurt is inflicted upon someone. But love rejoices when sincerity abounds and lives align with God's Will! If you love someone, you will be faithful and unswerving no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, accepting trustfully, convinced of his good and worth. You will always think the best of him, and look forward to the best for him and from him. You will always stand you ground to protect and shield them, maintaining your belief in the face of argument or hostile criticism.

Love is not a feeling, but a choice that leads to action! Love is not a noun, but a verb! It is in the doing. Love is continuous and ongoing!


But don't stop here.  Get out your own favorite copy of the scriptures and read it there.  Pray.  Reflect.  Apply.  If you happen not to have a Bible in the house, there are many online you can read.  Bible Gateway is just one of many good ones.  Many different translations there in many different languages.  Even on audio!

God bless and keep you!

Barbara

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